CoQ10 is short for coenzyme Q10
and is a vitamin-like substance necessary for life. Fortunately, the human body can make CoQ10 on its own, and most people probably do not need to take any supplements. However, levels can be low in people with certain medical conditions, and supplementation may be beneficial in some situations.
CoQ10 has several different functions within the cells of the body, such as:
- ATP production -- CoQ10 is important for the production of ATP, an important molecule in the body. ATP provides the energy for most of the processes within cells. The production of it occurs within certain structures in the cells known as mitochondria.
- Antioxidant effects -- CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidation damage from free radicals. It also helps cells "recycle" other antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C.
- Membrane stabilization -- CoQ10 may protect and stabilize cellular membranes.
These are just a few of the ways that researchers think the substance may work. As more studies are done, more information will become available about how it works.